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The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life Hardcover – Special Edition, January 16, 2014
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"This breezy, advice-packed book is a valueable road map for those who are looking to do their own thing on the side." --ForeWord Review
“This is a practical book… full of great ideas.” --Choice magazine
"Your definitive guide to side gigs." --Proud Money
"Just about everyone--no matter how experienced you are--will find great gems in this book." --Quintessential Reading
The biggest trend in business is the microbusiness! Handcrafted jewelry, artisanal eats, life coaching, app development, you name it—entrepreneurial side ventures are everywhere. Weary of pink-slip anxiety and the endless money squeeze, millions of people are taking the leap. They’re adding to their incomes and creating safety nets in case the ax falls at work. In the process, they’re unlocking their creativity and finding a sense of fulfillment they never dreamed possible.
Financial columnist Kimberly Palmer illuminates the everyday faces behind this growing movement, starting with her own journey. Recognizing that journalism offers little job security these days—and with a baby to provide for—she decided to develop a series of financial planners. This supplemental business was soon providing a reliable income stream.
The Economy of You recounts story after story of people who—like Kimberly—are liberating themselves from financial strain. A deli employee who makes custom cakes at night. An instrument repairman who sells voice-overs on his website. A videographer who started a profitable publishing house on the side. Interwoven in the profiles are concrete guidelines for readers looking to launch rewarding businesses of their own, including:
• Tips for figuring out the ideal side gig
• Ideas for keeping start up costs low
• Advice on juggling a fledgling enterprise and a full-time job
• Strategies for finding your “tribe” and building a social network
• Branding and marketing basics that bring results
• When and what to offer for free
• And much more
Companies guarantee nothing but today’s wages. It’s up to YOU to build stability by becoming a money-making engine. It’s empowering, gratifying, and easy to do with The Economy of You.
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More practically the book:
1) helped me think through my motivation for pursuing a side gig,
2) brainstorm ideas of things I am good at / interested in and people would pay for including ways to fit it into my already busy life / career
3) understand how to prepare and launch my idea including free resources to help me create, market and manage it
4) provided great information on utilizing social media as well as branding and pitching the side gig
The book also has a series of questionnaires and worksheets that are so useful when you start to take action. (e.g., a questionnaire to determine if you are ready, a worksheet to help you brainstorm ideas, another to create a plan, one to help with the pitch, another to help with the financial aspects, etc.).
Lastly, it has an AMAZING appendix of the top fifty side-gigs that includes a description, what type of person(s) each is best for, information and/or example(s) and resources for each.
There's more useful information in the book than I thought at first, but you have to extract if from the stories the author uses throughout the book to make her point. The book doesn't work as well as an audiobook which is how I "read" it. Consequently, extracting the useful information has been far more challenging. This book needs to be underlined and annotated to receive value beyond inspiration. The fact that the stories/experiences of other sidegiggers are presented in a random fashion makes it much more difficult for a reader to zone in on areas of individual interest. If you're willing to work at it, stop reading (or listening), take notes, organize those notes in useful categories, (marketing, time management, or industry specific, etc.) you can find useful information. However, since it covers such a broad range of side gigs, what you may be left with is not much that applies to your particular situation. I would have preferred the structure to balance storytelling with more pedagogical "how-to" narrative including resources, and an organizational structure around specific side gigs so that readers can target their particular interest more efficiently.
If you're already committed to being self employed, much of this book will not be useful. I found it to be repetitive in stating and restating the various reasons people choose to be solopreneurs and not enough time in the tactical side of the issue. The business and general media amply cover individual stories about how people landed in the ranks of the self employed and while this is always very interesting and inspirational, it's not what's really needed in a book on this subject. The redundancy and statistics can get tedious at times. About half the book is filler as far as this reader is concerned.